Man Arrested Near Airport With Pressure Cooker and Guns, Family Says It’s a Misunderstanding

Colin Fredericson
By Colin Fredericson
October 10, 2017US News
Man Arrested Near Airport With Pressure Cooker and Guns, Family Says It’s a Misunderstanding
A passenger at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Ill. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

A man was arrested with a rifle, handgun, and a pressure cooker in his car while driving near O’Hare International Airport in Chicago.

Santos Zamora, 32, was driving near the airport when police stopped him for speeding. Police saw a rifle case in the front seat. Zamora told them he also had a handgun between his feet. Police found a rifle in the trunk, along with a pressure cooker. Zamora was arrested without incident, and two other people in the car were detained and then released without charge Daily Mail reported.

Pressure cookers are often used in makeshift bombs, like the one used at the Boston Marathon in 2013. The AR-15 found in the trunk is a semiautomatic assault rifle. Zamora’s brother, Roberto, said the two had planned to go to a shooting range. Other family who came to Zamora’s court date told reporters it was a big mistake, and that Zamora came to Chicago to see his young nephew.

The stop set off a counterterrorism investigation. Traces of food found in the pressure cooker led investigators to believe he wasn’t trying to use it as a weapon. Although Zamora is a resident of Wisconsin, investigators brought up the fact that he wasn’t carrying an Illinois Firearm Owner’s Identification Card.

“We were supposed to go to the gun range,” said Roberto Zamora, via the Chicago Tribune. “He wasn’t familiar with the law in Illinois. He’s been living in Wisconsin.”

Illinois law requires guns to be unloaded, in a nonfunctioning state or not accessible, and in a case while transporting them from out-of-state, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Zamora is a father and a graphic designer. His bail was set at $5,000 and he will have another court date on Oct. 13.

According to the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action website, firearms can be transported state to state under many circumstances problem free, if they are stored properly. Once they are accessible to the vehicle occupants then state and local laws regarding carrying firearms apply. There are certain situations where they cannot be transported.

“Federal law does not restrict individuals from transporting legally acquired firearms across state lines for lawful purposes except those explicitly prohibited by federal law to include convicted felons; persons under indictment for felonies; adjudicated “mental defectives” or those who have been involuntarily committed to mental institutions; illegal drug users; illegal aliens and most non-immigrant aliens; dishonorably discharged veterans; those who have renounced their U.S. citizenship; fugitives from justice; persons convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence; and persons subject to certain domestic violence restraining orders. Therefore, no federal permit is required (or available) for the interstate transportation of firearms,” the website states.

In states where gun laws are particularly restrictive, though, a person would first be arrested before he or she is permitted to dispute the legality of the gun transportation, in court.


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